As a criminal defendant, you may think that your case is going to be decided in court in front of a jury. The hard work in many criminal cases often happens out of court when your criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor sit down to negotiate a plea deal. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff provide you with pragmatic legal defense while standing up for you to the prosecutor.

Criminal Defense Attorney Negotiating Plea Deal in Appleton, WI

Most Cases Will End in a Plea Bargain

In the end, very few criminal cases will go to trial. You may have your own motivations to avoid a jury trial. If you end up being convicted, the judge would impose the sentence. Many defendants who go to trial end up with far more serious consequences if they are convicted. You may have your own motivation to not go to trial. You could end up with a lesser sentence or reduced charges.

However, there is a price that you would need to pay. Namely, you would have to plead guilty and waive your right to a jury trial. You would not be able to continue to fight the charges against you. Given the risks of a conviction that you may face, your attorney may advise you to consider negotiating a plea bargain.

There Are Incentives to Reach a Plea Bargain for You and the Prosecutor

A plea bargain is exactly that – it is a deal that you reach with the prosecutor. You give something (a guilty plea that avoids trial), and you get something (a reduction in sentence or less serious charges).

You are not the only one who has the motivation to negotiate a possible plea bargain in a criminal case. The prosecutor also has their own reasons for wanting to negotiate with you. They have a budget and certain resources that they can devote to a criminal case. There is no possible way that a prosecutor has the resources to try every single case in their office. They do not have the time, nor could they possibly handle such a caseload.

For the prosecutor, plea bargains offer them a so-called “win” without having to go to court. They get to use statistics that show a high conviction rate without devoting the resources to a trial. They get their own way to show that they are being tough on crime without having to do as much work.

Although you are the one facing the criminal charges and potential penalties, the prosecutor also wants to talk to you. After all, there is a reason why they offer plea bargains. Therefore, you do not necessarily have to accept the first deal that the prosecutor offers you. An experienced attorney knows how law enforcement works and what may motivate the prosecutor in your case. You may have the ability to keep negotiating and hold out for a better deal. There may come a time when it is more crucial for both you and the prosecutor to come to an agreement, but you may have time to negotiate.

Other Defendants May Try to Reach a Deal First

However, you must also be mindful when there are other defendants in your case. The prosecutor may give the best deal to the one who comes forward first. Each defendant may have their own considerations. You may not want to be the one who is left holding the bag because you may get a worse deal or even no deal at all. Your attorney would assess the situation to determine whether you have space to negotiate.

You May Still Get More Jail Time

The judge is the one who would ultimately impose the penalty in your case. The prosecutor only has the power to make a sentencing recommendation. Of course, the judge would often defer to the recommendations of the prosecutor in sentencing you. However, if the judge thinks that the plea deal is too generous, they may have their own ideas. They could sentence you to higher penalties than the ones to which you agreed. This risk is one that you always would take when you agree to a plea deal. You do not get a do-over if the judge sentences you to more jail time.

Evidence of Plea Negotiations Cannot Be Used Against You

You may be afraid that attempting to negotiate a plea bargain may make you look guilty in a criminal case. You can rest assured knowing that evidence of settlement negotiations is not admissible at trial. The jury would never even know that your lawyer was attempting to negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf. If the jury somehow found out about that fact, your lawyer may be able to move for a mistrial.

You may then also be concerned that what you say during the plea bargain negotiation process could also harm your defense. The prosecutor would often want to know about what you are prepared to testify to, so they know whether you would be a useful witness. Here, you can also take some comfort in knowing that what you tell a prosecutor during negotiations also cannot be used against you. However, prosecutors may use the leads that you provided them to continue gathering evidence. There is often a very delicate game that your lawyer plays, having you tell the prosecutor just enough to show that you are a useful witness without allowing you to overshare with them.

Everything depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney would review your legal options and work to get the best possible outcome for you.

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Attorney

The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff will provide you with determined legal representation starting from the moment you hire us. If you are facing criminal charges, the best thing that you can do is hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us today at (920) 450-9800 to schedule a free initial consultation.